The biggest Retail Pharmacy challenges

By Nicole Holmes, Director, Alita Sales 

Alita Sales works with 4,000 pharmacies every month, and each month we survey our customers to ask them what the biggest challenges their businesses are facing.

Given the recent proposed changes to the dispensing rules, that were announced in April, we asked our pharmacies how big they feel the impact will be on their business and what kind of impact it will have. The results make for sobering reading.

Who Completed the Survey?

The survey respondents were principally either Pharmacists, retail managers or pharmacy assistants who identified themselves as buyers. So, this is a good indication of the decision-makers in pharmacy who determine what products to stock.

What do the results say?

73% of respondents said that the impact will be large, with 18% unsure what the impact will be.

When asked what changes your pharmacy will have to make around the 60-day dispensing where pharmacies were given the option of multiple answers they said:

  • 58% reduce purchases in the front of shop
  • 51% will have to charge for previously free services such as Webster packing
  • 32% will have to reduce staff numbers or their hours or both
  • 35% will have to reduce opening hours
  • Only 16% of respondents said no change.

In the previous month’s survey that highlighted stock and staff related challenges as the no 1 and 2 challenges in a pharmacy. The 60-day dispensing changes appear to be compounding an already challenging situation, leading to a lot of uncertainty in the industry.

What does this mean if you are a Brand selling through Retail Pharmacies?

Understanding the challenges that Retail Pharmacies are facing today allows you to develop strategies to help support them better. The prospect of staff reductions means that point of sale has never been more important. Read our recent article on the importance of clever POS to get some ideas on how to combat staff shortages and make sure your brand sells it’s self-off the shelf. In the coming weeks we will be outlining further strategies to support your pharmacy brands in this challenging time for the industry. To read the full report on the March Survey results click here.

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